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IRGC Commander Issues Angry Threats Against Israel, US

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Posted on: 
7 Jan 2020
IRGC Commander Issues Angry Threats Against Israel, US
Major General Hossein Salami, recently appointed to command Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) following the assassination of his predecessor Qasem Soleimani, made an impassioned speech at a memorial event on Tuesday morning in which he said, among other things, that his soldiers would “set ablaze” unspecified locations identified with the US and its regional allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. Shortly after his speech, a stampede broke out at the event which health officials said killed an estimated 40 mourners and injured hundreds of others.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted Saudi Arabian Vice Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman in Washington on Monday afternoon. Both officials emerged from the meeting tweeting formulaic platitudes about the importance and strength of their bilateral relationship. Also on Monday, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper issued a statement flatly denying reports that the US is preparing to withdraw its troops from Iraq. The reports were prompted by a letter reportedly sent to the Iraqi government in which the Pentagon announced it was preparing to redeploy forces out of the country.

Elsewhere Monday, it was reported that the price of oil has increased dramatically since the assassination of Soleimani, however, some analysts attributed the price hike to unwarranted alarm which would quickly subside in the absence of dramatic military escalation.

US Peace Plan Discussed in Jerusalem
Avi Berkowitz, assistant to US President Donald Trump and special representative for international negotiations, was in Jerusalem Monday to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was also reportedly at the meeting, which was held for the purpose of discussing the Trump Administration’s so called “deal of the Century” plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The meeting comes amidst rumors that the Administration will release the plan publicly in the new future, perhaps even before elections scheduled for early March.

Israel Begins Extracting Natural Gas from Leviathan
Rigs extracting natural gas from Israel’s massive offshore Leviathan field began pumping on Monday, with the Ministry of Environmental Protection issuing a statement that air quality was not affected as was feared by residents of the nearby coastal cities. The field is estimated to contain at least 605 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, enough for 65 years of domestic consumption at current rates.

BDS Movement Suffers More Defeats
The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered more setbacks this week as British singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock announced that he will be performing in Tel Aviv in early February and American private equity firm Insight Partners announced that it is acquiring  cybersecurity firm Armis, based in California but with strong ties to the Jewish State, in a deal valued at $1.1 billion.

Israel’s 2019 Deficit Larger Than Expected
Financial analysts were warning of rough times ahead for Israel following Monday’s announcement that the government’s fiscal deficit widened to 3.7% of GDP in 2019. The Ministry of Finance admitted that this was substantially higher than the target of 2.9 percent, adding that the gap amounted to nearly NIS 12 billion. The total deficit for 2019 came to roughly NIS 52.2b. ($15b.)

Today’s video comes from Israel’s ministry of tourism and the Israel Antiquities Authority

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